Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond has revealed in a Guardian comment piece some of the criteria the company is using to decide whether or not to act on ‘right to be forgotten‘ requests, and says that it is creating an independent advisory council to assist it in making these decisions.

[The criteria] include whether the information relates to a politician, celebrity or other public figure; if the material comes from a reputable news source, and how recent it is; whether it involves political speech; questions of professional conduct that might be relevant to consumers; the involvement of criminal convictions that are not yet “spent”; and if the information is being published by a government …

Drummond said explicitly that Google disagrees with the ruling, complaining that the company was being asked to make “difficult and debatable judgements” based on “very vague and subjective tests.” He said this is the reason the company is creating an independent advisory council to help determine policy on the matter.

That’s why we have also set up an advisory council of experts, the final membership of which we are announcing tomorrow. These external experts from the worlds of academia, the media, data protection, civil society and the tech sector are serving as independent advisers to Google. The council will be asking for evidence and recommendations from different groups, and will hold public meetings this autumn across Europe to examine these issues more deeply …

Drummond added that some mistakes have been made, which is why some removed links have begun reappearing in search results. This followed examples of the media reporting specific removals, bringing old stories back into the limelight.

Photo credit: AP

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